When It Hurts

I want to use a swear word, but I’ll hold myself back.

Stuff happens all the time and we don’t always like it or know what to do with it, especially the stuff we didn’t choose to happen.

We tend to focus on the good stuff and we seem to know what to do with that. But what about the bad stuff? How do we know how to go on again and reclaim our future and redefine our new path and accept that it’s ok to move on from here?

It’s hard to know.

It’s coming up on the one year anniversary that Chase died and we’re feeling it. We’re not really sure what to do with the feelings and there are no simple solutions or one size, fits all remedy. We want to reach out and connect and console one another and talk about it, and it hurts.  We want to offer comfort and care, and we’re not sure how best to do it. We want to give gifts and be together and share our stories and hear each other.  Maybe we just have to be.

I lit a candle and said a prayer. I called and texted loved ones. All throughout the days, while I’m working and driving and thinking, I am sitting with and feeling the sadness and loss more so again this week and am trying to accept it.  I wonder when the acceptance phase kicks in.

We don’t have all the answers.

To all who are hurting, I wish you love and peace and hope to carry on.

We love you Chase and miss you.


Day 323: What You Give, You Receive


I believe in positive thinking and focusing on what’s good, even though I’m not naive and know that not everything is really good. I feel that by thinking about and paying attention to what’s right and what’s good about others, I have the opportunity to celebrate these gifts every day and I find happiness this way. And by celebrating the goodness and the light in my little part of the world and more importantly those around me, I receive the gifts back. It’s an amazing process that I’m still learning and hopefully sharing and creating with you. And let me tell you, the journey of acceptance is amazing and rewarding.

I am blessed.


Tonight my friends had a party in my honor to celebrate our friendship together in this short year. All 20 people who were invited attended. We all wanted to be together and we’re all so busy but made time for dinner and dancing. Some of us had guests just fly in tonight. Some are flying out first thing in the morning. Others had recitals and swim diplomas and a 100 other things to do on a “work” night, but everyone came. I was so touched and honored and I kept wondering how that happened. I know that when typically you throw a party, usually at least 25% will not be able to show up for one reason or another. But tonight… 100%! Thank you, friends for your presence!!

Carolyn and Jen planned a wonderful dinner party at what felt like someone’s house. It was an intimate setting just for us, in the middle of Albert Cuypstraat at Saskia’s Huiskamer. You’ll definitely want to look this place up if you need a place for 25 or less. The table was set with beautiful floral bouquets, and gift bags for each guests. It was intimate and warm and the ambiance was perfect. Everyone was asked to wear something orange in honor of our new Dutch heritage.

We enjoyed several courses and after each course, we would get up and switch seats so that everyone got a chance to mingle and chat with one another. This was brilliant! Through out the night, my friends got up to share a story about how we met and how we became friends. I think I cried several times and was so touched by their meaningful words. I love our community of friends and what we’ve created in this short year together.


After dinner, Jane turned on the music and we danced the night away until the next day! We had some wild fun together with our orange boas, the white silly looking stuffed horse, the orange wig and the orange sunglasses.


Thank you all for being my forever friends. I will miss you all and will take you with me on our next journey and hope y’all come visit me in California. I love you!!


Day 77: Acceptance


The trees in front of our yard have changed and are filled with leaves and light. I love this view in the morning, and to think they were just bare a couple months ago. I like this change.

Now that we actually have committed to a house in Amstelveen, it feels more real, like now we’re really going. Not that we weren’t going before, but there was a mental shift and awareness that was good and a little uncomfortable. I guess that’s how it goes with any major change. There are layers, right?  There was a news article written talking about the new offices in Holland  – another layer. And the tax adviser that was hired, as well as the documents stating my husband’s new role and position in Europe – more layers of realness. I think we’re really moving. I know, I’m a little slow…even though I know, I really know.  

Maybe that’s why I fill my days to the brim and over the top – so I don’t really have to think about the change. Hmm.  There’s a lot to think about and do in just 77 days!!


The good news is that the kids are starting to internalize the change and are preparing on their own too, as evidenced by their conversation and artwork. Like they started arguing over which room they each were going to get and whether they would share or not and get bunk beds.  Little C has been the most apprehensive, so seeing his art creation and hearing the story about how he was going to put this up in his room now and bring it with him to the new house made my eyes well up, but at least he didn’t see. I’m so proud of him and happy that he’s accepting the journey.


And my mini-me, I better remember to be a good role model. She likes to mimic me. So this week I’m working on a few things to be a better role model. I feel her watching and learning and growing up.  We even went and got haircuts together at my salon today. I love her and all that she is becoming… just slow down time, please?